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Vehicle leasing body publishes diesel transition roadmap

Mark Moran
24 October 2017
The BVRLA Fleet Air Quality Factsheet
The BVRLA Fleet Air Quality Factsheet


The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has published a blueprint for delivering a transition away from diesel cars and commercial vehicles in urban areas.

The plan was published as London launched its Toxicity Charge, or T-Charge, which requires the most polluting vehicles to pay a £10 daily fee on top of the £11.50 Congestion Charge.

BVRLA members provide car-sharing and vehicle rental and leasing to businesses and consumers, operating a fleet of more than 4.7m vehicles.

The organisation says switching from a vehicle ownership model to a “vehicle usership” one could provide drivers of older vehicles with a cost-effective transport solution as its members’ fleets are already compliant with the T-Charge emissions standards. This would enable drivers to avoid the £10 daily charge placed on pre-Euro 4 diesel and petrol vehicles travelling in the zone, said BVLRA.

The BVRLA has welcomed the fact that the T-Charge does not penalise drivers of newer cleaner diesel vehicles and instead focuses on older, higher polluting vehicles.

“Diesel vehicles play an essential role in transporting goods and people around the country, but the emissions they produce on low-speed urban roads means they have no long-term future in our cities,” BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney. “We need a carefully blended set of incentives and restrictions that removes the oldest, most polluting diesel vehicles without crippling our economy or punishing people for decisions they have already made. The vehicle rental and leasing industry has a huge stake in this transition and we look forward to working with local and national government to deliver a workable solution.”

The BVLRA commissioned Ecuity Consulting to produce the blueprint using the same methodology used by government policymakers to assess its national air quality plan. The Diesel Vehicle Market-share Reduction Analysis uses social cost-benefit analysis, based on the government’s Green Book methodology, to assess the merit of different rates of diesel market-share reduction over a 10-year period from 2018-27. The analysis recognises that NOx emissions must be tackled cost-effectively, with policy interventions that provide the greatest social benefit for the least cost.

The Diesel Vehicle Market-share Reduction Analysis has four main conclusions:

  • The government should focus its efforts on reducing diesel car use in urban areas. Around one-third of car use is on urban roads and electric and hybrid cars represent an increasingly affordable alternative
  • A steady transition away from using diesel vehicles will enable the supply chain and consumers to move to alternative technologies without incurring too many costs
  • Government policy should focus on trying to reduce car ownership instead of just choosing alternative vehicles. A scrappage scheme that provides mobility credits for public transport, car club and car rental journeys could stimulate this behaviour change
  • The government needs to provide a consistent clean air zone policy framework across the UK to avoid placing extra burdens or costs on people and businesses driving between urban areas.

The BVRLA has also produced a Fleet Air Quality Factsheet which outlines the range of compliant vehicles its members can provide to businesses and individuals impacted by Clean Air Zones.

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